Beyond All Splits: Envisioning the Next Generation of Science on Mindfulness and Compassion in Schools for Students

Robert W. Roeser, Mark T. Greenberg, Tyralynn Frazier, Brian M. Galla, Andrei D. Semenov, Michael T. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This paper describes the emergence of the scientific study of mindfulness in schools; summarizes findings of experimental research on the impacts of school-based mindfulness programs (SBMPs) on student outcomes in prekindergarten, primary, and secondary school settings (ages 4–18 years); discusses scientific limitations and wider critiques of this work; and offers suggestions for future research. Methods: Public data are used to describe the emergence of science on SBMPs, the foci of this research, and the academic disciplines contributing to it. A narrative summary of scientific findings regarding the impacts of SBMPs on students, and critiques of this work, is also presented. Results: Research is increasing and is primarily psychological and prevention-oriented. Evidence shows SBMPs can enhance students’ self-regulation abilities, but SBMPs’ impacts on other student outcomes at different ages are equivocal. The current research has significant limitations, and these, alongside wider critiques of the work, suggest important directions for research. Conclusions: In the next generation of science, we suggest (a) improving the experimental research; (b) expanding developmental research; and (c) re-envisioning assumptions, theories, and methods in research to go “beyond all splits” towards a non-dualistic and relationally, culturally, contextually, ethically, and developmentally grounded science on mindfulness and compassion for students in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-254
Number of pages16
JournalMindfulness
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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